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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:13 pm 
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What I never got about this particular sportive was the fact that only about 10% of entrants actually took up the offer of the more difficult route. The route in itself wasn't that bad but the road surface once over the top and coming down the other side was terrible, so much so that I was wishing I hadn't done it. My guess is a layer of wet tar had been sprayed onto the road and then a guy with a shovel load of type 1 hardcore had scattered said type 1 over the top of the wet tar. Not a good combination for a carbon bike, there again not a good combination for any bike. I'm heading back tomorrow to see if I can retrieve my top denture :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:20 pm 
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I've done a few and have to agree 100% with the OP, the most unfriendly way to spend a few hours. The only benefit is that the local authority puts up route signs so the local motorists stay away so it's hassle free roads in the most part. However, 20 odd quid to ride routes I ride most weekends, I'll be keeping my money. The one I'd do again is the Great Manchester Cycle, only as it's purely closed roads and well organised. The course is o.k. but I found it to be friendly and a decent day. I think we have a lot to learn from the Europeans when it comes to mass participation rides.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:29 pm 
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47p2 wrote:
My guess is a layer of wet tar had been sprayed onto the road and then a guy with a shovel load of type 1 hardcore had scattered said type 1 over the top of the wet tar

I thought that was standard practice in the Highlands. :mrgreen:

It certainly was when I used to stay on Mull every summer.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:38 pm 
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I've done 3 (Fred Whitton, Etape du Dales and Drumlanirg challenge) The Fred was awesome a real test of man and bike, something when I finished I took immense satisfaction in completing, the craic and camaraderie were great too. The Etape Du Dales was maybe less friendly I suppose and maybe not as good a route as the Fred but I enjoyed myself all the same and got to ride in a part of the country I wouldn't have otherwise. The Drum run is a very friendly affair, spoke to loads of people and hooked up with a couple of guys who happened to be local to me and we had a fair old blast round the circuit, fantastic chuck as well at the stops. What I will say is though is that these are all fairly established and maybe at a time when sportives hadn't hit the mainstream( the FW was 06, EdD 07) like everything something becomes popular and a load of events( or whatever) appears often diluting the good stuff.

Just remembered I did the Ken Laidlaw as well, it was good anaw, Scotlands first TdF hero and a joly round the Borders.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:40 pm 
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If you read about the net it seems all roadies are dour miserable so and so's anyway :P


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:15 pm 
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NeilM wrote:
That's the thing I don't quite understand with sportives. Who are they aimed at?

I know one or two serious cyclist who like to ride some of the more challenging routes, but for the mostpart it seems the typical competitor.. ooops sorry, participant is just your average person who happens to own a bike (much like your daughter 47p2). So what is with all the killer, lung busting, leg burning, cpr requiring climbs.

One of the local sportives around here runs up a climb called Burrington Combe. Go a look it up on strava or OS maps, it's a miserable thing that just goes up and up onto the Mendip Hills. You get to a point where you think you have beaten it, do one more kick around the corner and discover you are barely half way up and the second half is the steepest part.

Tough guys and pros (like JTL, Dan LLoyd and others) use this climb to train on, as it is so horrible, and yet the sportive organisers take a bunch of leisure cyclists up the damn thing. Why?

Maybe I'll have to try one next year, when my climbing ability has improved and my lightweight Rourke is built, then at least I'll be in a position to judge from experience, rather than from a distance.



I like the challenge, but you could ask why anyone dose anything like swim the channel, climb everest or run a marathon.and i can see why you dont do any neil,because pushing the history mans fat ass up hill would kill anyone :D


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:22 pm 
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matthew71 wrote:
[ i can see why you dont do any neil,because pushing the history mans fat ass up hill would kill anyone :D


I do get to tow him sometimes. :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:29 pm 
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And i guess jtl will be riding sportif,s next year


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:33 pm 
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matthew71 wrote:
And i guess jtl will be riding sportif,s next year


Hmmm, only time will tell.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:40 pm 
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I was planning on doing the New Forest 100 mile sportive, but decided against it. All to competitive for me, ill stick to my solo rides :)


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